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September 1, 2020 1:51 pm
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Christian roots is a journey with as much as your bank account and the bread knives in your closet. Is that how you visit you with the Turning Point of the Jeremiah explains why the only measure of worth. That really matters is seen through the world's eyes, but through your creations is Alyssa is the message. What is my cell in my church we sometimes seen a song that has this is a part of it lyric. I am he says I am on him who he says I am that really has resonated with me over the years who is David Jeremiah he's who God says is and who are you you are who God says you are to find out more about that on Turning Point as we open our Bibles together today to a wonderful Psalm Psalm 139 and before we get into our Bible study. Let me encourage you to be part of the resource program during the month of September. This is something we've just been doing well for a couple of years moving the offer of our beautiful original calendar that we do each year for Turning Point family moving out offer up until September so that we can be sure to get your request and get it in the mail and get it to you in time so you can have it before the year begins, and toward the end of the year when things get so hectic in order to accommodate you in all of this.
We've included November and December. In this calendar, so it's a 14 month calendar and it's beautiful friends.
I have to tell you of the theme of the calendar. This year's colors of creation and it's exactly what I said it's beautiful what you can do now in the print ministry with colors is amazing in these colors just jump out offer the page, and other so brilliant and so inviting. We want to send this calendar to you as our way of saying thank you for joining us in the outreach of Turning Point in the investment that you make during this month will help us touch people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. All around the world. It's one way that we can add value to you as you help us reach the goal that God is put in the hearts of the gospel to everyone during our lifetime, so be sure to get your gift in the mail today and don't forget to ask for your calendar when you send your gift well let's open your Bibles to Psalm 139 for the first of two discussions. What is my self-worth.
It should not surprise many of us today that there are countless thousands of people who are going through identity crises everywhere you look. Spending thousands of dollars to go to therapists and counselors to find out who they are, why they're here and if there were, they try to discover their self-worth. Try to find a reason for continuing the struggle to just keep going and of course we shouldn't be surprised that because given the evolutionary theory that seems accepted by most people these days why we are just a tiny speck on the vast universe were struggling mortals on an obscure planet located in the second-grade galaxy among billions of other galaxies. I mean, how important could we really be sought out Western culture. What we tried to do is decide that the worth of a person is determined on the basis of how much society is willing to pay for his services in the athletic realm. For instance, if you can fill a 95 mile an hour fastball. Most of the time and get it over the plate. You cannot doubt a pretty decent salary. In fact, a multimillion dollar deal is probably out there waiting for you or if your quarterback and you can hit fleetwide receivers in stride 56 yards down the field and keep from getting killed by the onrushing lineman. You are guaranteed a multimillion dollar multi-year package or if you just happen to be 6 foot 11 and weighed 270 pounds and break backboards when you don't like Shaquille O'Neal, you are set for life. See, it's not really the worth of a person that we applaud it's how much we can get from him in terms of applause and and how much were willing to pay and within the corporate world we play the same games we have visible symbols in the corporate world like office furnishings and bonuses and salaries. These all announce the worth of the person and the person claims he or she will collect the sequence of important sounding titles and he will be viewed as worthy in the military. We have another way of doing it.
It's called the chain of command defines a person's worth one person salutes another person who is superior and commands. Others who are inferior and stripes and uniforms alert everyone to our relative status and are worth.
You see, our culture is shot through with rating systems and they began as early as the first great day. We rate each other against each other. We make relative judgments on people's worth.
It has to do with physical appearance and defining achievement some years back in the British Journal of plastic surgery.
There was a disturbing article entitled the Quasimodo complex in the article. Two physicians reported in their study that they had done an extensive survey of 11,000 prison inmates who had committed murder rate or other serious crimes in their research, they discovered that in the normal adult population 20% of all people have surgically collectible facial deformities like protruding ears, misshapen nose receiving Chans acne scars birthmarks are kinds of deformities that sometimes people go to plastic surgeons to have repaired.
But in the prison inmates in those 11,000 prison inmates that they surveyed 60% of those inmates had those kinds of deformities and the authors of the article who name of the article, the Quasimodo complex. After Quasimodo who was Victor Hugo's hunchback of Notre Dame and in the article with some disquieting questions for all of us had these criminals. They said encountered hostility and rejection from classmates in grammar school and in high school because of their deformities and could the cruelty of the other children have push them toward the state of emotional imbalance that ultimately led to their criminal acts. The article on Quasimodo complex reduces to statistics of truth that haunts every one of us at one time or another, we human beings give an ordinance regard to the physical body.
It takes a rare person. Indeed, the look past the shell and acknowledge the inherent value of the human being, no matter how human beings may be packaged if you were here today and you put all your hope for self-worth and self-esteem in the physical package. Let me just be as honest with you as I can, no matter how good that package is you are fighting a losing battle.
You are going to lose. You can't prop it up forever.
You can keep it moving forward. All this time you got a hunch over one of these days and you has been to start falling out. You're going to be. I know it's depressing but it's the truth know I'll have to admit it.
I remember Bill Gaither told me this one time. He said somebody gave them the slow palm. It says I can live with my arthritis in my dentures fit just fine. I can handle growing older, but I sure do miss my mind.
I mean, that's kind of the way it is when you start moving along. So whatever you do. Put your value in the outer package what you say pastor Jeremiah that's true. Where do I get my sense of self-worth. You know, I've never been so excited about a portion of God's word as I have become about the 139 Psalm because here in this Psalm David writes out of his experience of struggling with and dealing with this very question.
Who am I and how can I find my worth.
Man is only man in relation to God.
The only thing that makes us different from the rest of the animal kingdom is that God has breathed into us, his Spirit that God has given us his image, and how ever we want to define that image.
It is the one thing that sets us apart from everyone else. From everything else. We are created in the image of God. We respond to God. That is because God has placed his imprint upon him. If that is true we should not be surprised to discover that our worth as human beings has something to do with him. A man and I want to show you how the psalmist takes this wonderful portion that we have before us, and in three or four different sections reminds us of who we are as far as God is concerned, say four things to you today. Number one, your self-esteem comes from the fact that God knows you.
He knows you and I think the most important person in all the world.
The person everybody would just be in all God is beyond the importance of that person is far beyond that importance. As you can possibly consider in your mind. And yet, listen to me. God knows you listen to the writing of the psalmist or Lord you have searched me and known me, you know my sitting down in my rising up. You understand my thought far off you comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. So there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, the Lord, you know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before and laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high and I cannot attain it not written down in my notes here is the way God knows you number one God knows what you do in verse two, he says, Lord, you know my down sittings and my uprisings. This is a reference to the activity of life is an Old Testament expression that talks about the routine of life going in the coming out. God knows your activities. In essence, David is saying that God knew him in his active life and in his passive life. God knew what he did. Secondly, God knows what you think disburse to you understand my thoughts of far off. The psalmist says before you ever think your thoughts.
God knows what they are. God knows your subconscious life and that is why we read in the New Testament that your father know what things ye have need of even before you ask God knows what you think.
And thirdly, the psalmist is God knows where you go. He says in verse three you comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways God knows all about your habits and what things you have need of an God knows all that's going on in your life number for God knows what you say verse four says, for there is not a word on my, oh Lord, what you know it altogether.
Now that's kind of frightening is have you set any words this week that it kind of embarrasses you that God knows them.
I mean I'm not trying to make you feel guilty, but that's an awesome thought isn't it God knows everything that you say.
And finally, God knows what you need in verse five it says you have hedged me behind and before and laid your hand upon me. This is an Old Testament idiom, but it's rich in imagery. He says you have hedged me in like a city that is under siege you are providing for, and caring for me, even when you do not realize it. He knows your past, thou has hedged me in from behind. He knows your future. Thou has hedged me and before any knows your present have your hand on me right now.
So stop and think about it for a moment how important are you God knows you knows what you do what you think where you go, what you say you need and when David thought about this. It was so overwhelming to him that we read in verse six he said such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high and I cannot attain it. David said there's only one thing left for me to do. When I finally realized that you knew me, and out of all the billions of souls on this earth. You knew me better than I know myself better than I am known by anybody else that God you know me. He said it is so wonderful I can do nothing but fall down and worship you. Sometimes truth about God is like that. There's no way to respond to it. There's no way to write a critique of it when you just finally understand it, you just want to fall on your knees and say, God, you are too wonderful. How can I comprehend. So the next time you're wondering about your own self-worth.
If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, you can put your shoulders back and say hey God knows me knows me with.
The second thing the psalmist wants us to understand is that God is near you. He not only knows you. He is near you. For in these next six verses, he asks the questions where can I go from your spirit, or where can I flee from your presence.
Quite often these verses have been used as an evangelistic thrust to help us understand that we can never get away from the hound of heaven that he will chase us down the corridors of life until finally he catches us in that like Jonah of all we can ever get on a ship that will take us away from God, he will always find us. That's true but there's a wonderful positive application of this portion of God's word as well for what day but I believe is talking about is not so much the pursuing God with the present God is saying to us that God is everywhere.
He is not everything that's pantheism but God is everywhere and in his poetic style. He researches the universe as if to go through a checklist and find out if there's any place that he could imagine were God, might not be. He says I've gone to the heavens and of going to she'll in God you were there. Here are the two extremes. The heights of heaven and the depths of she whole the place of living in light and the abode of death and darkness.
God when I go there you were there and it surprises some of you I know think of God in she'll let me remind you, God will be with you wherever you go from now throughout eternity either as the one around the home you have wrapped your worship and love, or as the thought in your mind throughout the eternal days of the one you rejected all the time you had a chance to know him, God will be in your mind forever in heaven or in she'll says the psalmist. Then he adds, not only is God in the heights and in the depths, but he is in the East and in the West is a curious expression. In this next verse he says if I take the wings of the morning you were there. If I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea. Even your hand shall be there and if you study that in the language of the Hebrew what you find out is that the wings of the morning are reference to the East where the sun comes up. And if I go to the furthest parts of the sea is a reference to the Mediterranean Sea, which was further west in Palestine and David is looking at the universe as he sees and he says God here in the East End here in the West I can get away from you. Your you're on the land and you're on the sea and then he says well maybe if God could somehow be isolated to darkness and light, there would be a way that he could not be near us, but he goes on to say if I say, surely the darkness shall fall on me. Even the night shall be light about me. Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from you, but the night shines as the day I watch this, the darkness and the light are both alike to you God here in the light in your darkness, because with God. There is no difference between like darkness in the point that the psalmist wants us to get is this. Listen up now. God is near you wherever you go, you can't get away from him. You can't go to a place where God is not and I don't know what that does for you, but I'll tell you what if you get your worth being near important people you are near God and he is near you, and what that means in the exciting truth is that he is immediately accessible to you wherever you go. When God designed to send his son into this world as his picture to us of who God is a name was given to him that we cherish, especially at Christmas time. He's called what Emmanuel and what is that God with us. God is with us in the psalmist wants us to understand that you cannot hide from God, but he also wants us to understand that God is near us, so you get your self-esteem from the fact that God knows you and the God is near you. Here's the third one and basically this is the centerpiece of the whole Psalm you get your self-esteem and self-worth from this troth. God made you, he created you.
You are the incredible creation of the infinite God and I almost just took this section go rest of it aside just dealt with this because what a wonderful truth that is the psalmist is a God, you have formed me and my inward parts, and covered me in my mother's womb. St. Augustine once wrote. He said men go abroad to wonder at the height of the mountain and at the huge waves of the sea and the long courses of the rivers at the vast compass of the ocean and that the circular motion of the stars and they pass by themselves in their wonder isn't it interesting that in the first six verses the psalmist is talking about God's omniscience. He knows everything. In the second section is talking about God's omnipresent he is everywhere and in this section is talking about God's omnipotence.
He's all-powerful now listen when he wanted to use an illustration of his power injures the vast universe with all the stars and galaxies and planets but he chose the crowning creation called man nieces let me show you how powerful is God. Let me show you man and he says man has been in the heart and thought of God from the very moment of his conception. God is involved with the conception of each of us. He says in verse 13 for you have formed my inward parts, and have covered me in my mother's womb. These words describe reproduction in some of the most meaningful and tender versus all of the Bible. If we read them honestly. We understand that they contain the secret for an incredible sense of self-worth. Listen to me. God knew you before you were born and he knows the moment when you were conceived in those the very beginning of your life. God was involved in it all and every phase of development. From that moment on he is there. So I want to tell you something.
In case you haven't heard it recently from this pulpit that the human embryo is not the result of a biological accident. God is aware of the union of the sperm and the egg and the attachment of the embryo to the uterine lining and the development of human life and God formed the inward parts of the range. The genetic structure and processes are rains and God is in conception and we believe that the Bible teaches that human life begins at that moment. And God knows about that human life and God loves that human life from the very moment of that union and God is involved with the development of read verses 14 and 15 with me. He says I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well do you know that the psalmist tells us that God protects even at birth, our individuality, the word wonderfully in that little phrase fearfully and wonderfully made you what that word means the word literally in the Hebrew language means you are fearfully and differently made and you know we can look around, or we can joke about the sometimes we can say boy is she different or boy is he different.
Let's face it were all different. There has never been to human beings created anything like God has made us fearfully and uniquely. We are all stamped with our own special genetic code that sets us apart from every other human being on the face of God's earth and out of the billions of people. The billions of souls. God made certain that everyone of us would be special wonderfully uniquely made while like your friend nobody and probably someone around her saying thank God there's nobody like her or nobody like him but you know what we look at how this all works out in life is such an exciting thing. Every person we meet in life is a one-of-a-kind every time we talk to somebody on the phone were talking to somebody who was unlike everyone else in this world of billions of people. Only God could do that and it makes life so exciting and it makes you so valuable. God has something that you alone can do is get you here for a purpose that you alone can fulfill. I finally recognize that one day in my life and it was really it was mine changing it was hard changing. I can't do everything. But God has something for me to do. I remember reading this passage of Scripture about the Lord Jesus Christ. Here's what it says. He finished the work which God gave him to do that all the work there was to do, but the work God gave him to do.
That's all we can be asked to do in the kingdom is to do the work.
God calls us to do and there is a special work for each one of us will have some orbit tomorrow on the Thursday edition of Turning Point as we continue this series called God, I need some answers. Don't forget the calendar is our resource for September time. And of explained it all to you earlier. You can get this beautiful 2021 calendar for gift of any size Turning Point during the month of September here only available now would love for you to have it please escort when you send your gift today will see right here tomorrow for more information on Dr. Jeremiah's current series thought I place visit our website and live the office to realize to help you stay connected monthly magazine Turning Points and that the email sign-up today dear Martha/Freddie Jeremiah.old/let you know when you do your copy of their team calendar because of creation that highlights go taking a study Bible and the English standard and new international missions as well as in standard a large print in the new King James with helpfulness from the study.
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